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A guide on how to maintain and clean your frames

March 03, 2022

A guide on how to maintain and clean your frames

Whether it's an original artwork or a precious family portrait, framed pictures can transform any space in your home. But to keep them looking great, it's important to perform some maintenance and cleaning every now and then.

Looking after your picture frames doesn't have to be hard, but there are a few tips and tricks you need to keep in mind to get the best results.

Here's our guide to frame cleaning and maintenance:

General maintenance tips

All frames deserve some love and attention every now and then. Keep these tips in mind to make frame maintenance easier:

  • Dust your frames as part of your regular dusting routine – a quick going over with a soft cloth or feather duster usually does the trick.
  • Position your frame where it won't pick up as much dust – hang your frames away from windows that you open regularly and other areas that tend to collect dust.
  • Position your photo frames out of direct sunlight – UV radiation can cause discolouration and damage your items over time.
  • Check that hooks are secure and that the frame is solid and strong – you can take the frame to a professional framer to fix structural issues.
  • Invest in custom frames for higher protective qualities – custom picture framers use gallery standard framing techniques to make sure your pieces are protected to a high standard.

Also read our guide to picture framing care for maximum protection.

How to clean glass or acrylic frames

When cleaning acrylic or glass surfaces, we recommend using a soft microfibre cloth as more abrasive cleaning cloths can leave scratches. Microfibre is great at picking up dust and dirt without the use of water. In many cases a quick wipe down of the glass will be enough to keep it looking great.

Avoid cleaning solutions, especially if they contain ammonia. Picture frame glass is often coated to prevent glare and protect the artwork from UV radiation. Harsh chemicals in cleaners can break down this coating and cause unnecessary damage.

If you've got stubborn spots,try a spray of warm soapy water, an ammonia-free glass cleaner or a cleaner specifically designed for acrylic.

Don't apply the cleaning agent directly to the glass as this can cause too much liquid to run down the frame and soak into the wood or mat board. Instead, spray the cleaning agent onto the cloth and wipe from there. We recommend testing on a small, unobtrusive spot first.

How to clean wood frames

Use a clean microfibre cloth to dust wooden photo frames or slightly dampen the cloth with warm water if the frame needs a more thorough clean.

Avoid cleaning chemicals, especially if the wood is unfinished as the chemicals may soak into the wood and cause discolouration.

For ornate wooden frames with layers or intricate designs, use a dry soft toothbrush or soft makeup brush to clean the crevices.

How to clean ornate and antique frames

Care should be taken when cleaning ornate and antique frames as they are often more susceptible to damage. In general, clean with a soft microfibre cloth and avoid any cleaning solutions.

For gilded frames, avoid using anything but a clean soft cloth as even water may cause damage. A cotton swab can help you reach crevices, but be gentle to avoid peeling the gilded layer off.

Professional repairs and maintenance

If your picture frame needs more attention than a simple clean, consider getting it professionally repaired by your local picture framers in Perth.

At Portfolio Picture Framers, we can assist with repairs and reframing for modern and antique frames. Our services include:

  • Replacing broken or stained glass or acrylic
  • Re-matting damaged or outdated mat boards
  • Re-framing artworks when the frame is damaged or outdated
  • Replacing hangers and other hardware
  • Cleaning and remounting frames that have been affected by dusts or insects

Whether you know exactly what you want or need a little advice about frame cleaning and maintenance, the team at Portfolio Picture Framers is here to help. Give us a call on (08) 9330 5884 or bring your frame into our studio in Myaree. We look forward to assisting you.

Send us a message!